December 30, 2016

Edward M. Tanner (1815-1867)

Born in 1815, Tanner came to Texas in 1827 with his family, likely settling in what is now Liberty County. In 1835, he was elected to the Committee of Safety for the municipality of Liberty, the first of many future city appointments. During the Revolution, he enlisted in the Texican army on March 6, 1836, and was assigned to Captain William M. Logan's Company of Liberty Volunteers, with whom he fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Discharged that following June, he returned to Liberty and once again involved himself with local government and politics. On March 26, 1855, he was appointed the overseer for Precinct II, Liberty County, by the County Commissioners. In 1862, during the Civil War, he tried to enlist in the regular army, but was declared too old, and instead became attached to Wheat's Company A, Texas State Troops, a support unit. Tanner died some time in 1867 and buried in Boothe Cemetery in north Liberty County.

30° 19.939
-094° 58.864

Boothe Cemetery
Tarkington Prairie

December 27, 2016

John Arledge (1906-1947)

Johnson Lundy Arledge was born on March 12, 1906 (his grave marker is incorrect) in Crockett, Texas. After studying at the University of Texas, he started his career in vaudeville for two years and stock with David Belasco before transitioning to film. He kickstarted his acting career in various films such as Young Sinners (1931), Heartbreak (1931) and the remake Daddy Long Legs (1931) with Janet Gaynor. He also appeared in Week-Ends Only (1932), the sports drama Huddle (1932) with Ramon Novarro and Olsen's Big Moment (1933). He kept working in film throughout the thirties, starring in Flirtation Walk (1934) with Dick Powell, the Charles "Buddy" Rogers musical Old Man Rhythm (1935), the Dick Powell musical Shipmates Forever (1935) and Devil Dogs of the Air (1935). Toward the end of his career, he continued to act in Twelve Crowded Hours (1939), the Vivien Leigh box office smash dramatic adaptation Gone With the Wind (1939) and the drama Strange Cargo (1940) with Joan Crawford. He also appeared in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and the James Cagney drama City For Conquest (1940). His final film was Dark Passage (1947) with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Arledge died later that year and was buried in his hometown. Source

31° 19.905
-095° 27.936

Evergreen Memorial Park

December 23, 2016

Elijah Votaw (1817-1890)

Elijah Votaw was born in Saint Louis County, Missouri, on February 1, 1817 and came to Texas via Arkansas with his parents in April, 1835. The Votaws settled early in what is now Grimes County. He served in the army from March 1 to July 1, 1836 and was wounded at San Jacinto while a member of Captain James Gillaspie's Company. Votaw moved often after he left the army, first settling in Oakville, then Cotulla where he remained until 1885 when he moved to San Antonio. He died there at his home on November 17, 1890 and buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

29° 25.315
-098° 28.168

Odd Fellows Cemetery
San Antonio

December 20, 2016

Elliott McNeil Millican (1808-1860)

Elliott Millican, pioneer physician and legislator, the son of Nancy Jane (McNeil) and Robert Hemphill Millican, was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1808. In December 1821 he arrived in Texas as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists with his parents, eight brothers, and two sisters. He received title to a sitio of land adjoining his father's grant on March 31, 1831. He was appointed constable of Washington County in 1839 and was elected sheriff of Navasota County in 1841. When the Congress of the Republic of Texas formed Brazos County in 1843, Millican was appointed sheriff. In elections held in Brazos County in March 1839 he was elected to the office, which he held until 1844, when he was elected representative for Brazos County to the Ninth Congress of the republic (1844-45). When Austin was chosen to replace Washington-on-the-Brazos as capital, Millican signed a resolution protesting the move. He was elected representative from Brazos County to the First, Second, and Third Texas legislatures. He was elected senator from Brazos County to the Fifth and Sixth legislatures. He resigned from the Senate during the sixth session because of a widespread epidemic; as one of the few physicians resident in Brazos County, he thought he was needed there. He devoted himself to his medical practice until his death. Millican married Elizabeth Clampitt, a member of Austin's second colony and daughter of Susanah G. Clampitt, on June 14, 1827, at Fort Tenoxtitlán. They had four sons and three daughters. After Elizabeth's death Millican married Marcella Elizabeth Boyce Triplett, who had a young son by a previous marriage. The couple had four more sons. As members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Millican and his first wife donated 1½ acres of land for a church building; the Millican United Methodist Church still occupied this land in 1990. In 1859, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway extended its line to his community, Millican sold land to the railroad for its right-of-way; the tracks were still in use in 1990. Millican's home was known as the Log Cabin Inn and served as a popular hotel and restaurant. Millican died at his home in Millican during a cholera epidemic on October 13, 1860. Source

30° 28.286
-096° 12.997

Weaver Cemetery

Margaret Julia Trigg (1964-2003)

Margaret Juliet Trigg was born May 30, 1964, in Bastrop, Texas, to Kleber and Minifred Trigg. She graduated from Bastrop High School in 1982 and Stephens Womans College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1985 with a B.A. Degree in Literature and Dramatic Art, then spent her junior year at Oxford University in England. After graduation, she lived in Dallas and briefly in Los Angeles before moving to New York in 1989 where she worked tirelessly writing her own stand up comedy routines. A skilled comedian, her popularity took off  after performances at Caroline's Comedy Club, The Comic Strip, The New York Comedy Club and others. She appeared on several television shows and won a starring role as alien mother Cookie Brody in Aliens in the Family on ABC. She began accepting roles in movies, and starred in two low budget films, R.O.T.O.R. and Dream House. It was around this time that she became heavily addicted to plastic surgery, mostly on her face to fix issues that weren't there. Margaret quickly went bankrupt from spending every dollar she earned on imaginary flaws. In 2003, she died of a heart attack triggered by extreme amphetamine abuse.

30° 06.856
-097° 18.319

Fairview Cemetery

December 16, 2016

John Edward Lewis (1808-1892)

John Edward Lewis, Republic of Texas Veteran, was born on October 3, 1808, to Joseph and Mary Lewis, one of three children. Lewis arrived in Texas in March 1834, where he settled in Stephen F. Austin's fourth colony, present-day Fayette County. At some point, Lewis returned to New York, because he married his wife, Anna Scott, of Albany. During Texas' fight for independence, Lewis fought with Captain William J.E. Heard's Company of Citizen Soldiers, where he participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. According to his service record, Lewis served in the army from February 28 to May 24, 1836. After the war, Lewis received 320 acres of land for his service, which he later sold. He received another 640 acres for taking part in the Battle of San Jacinto. In 1883, the Lewis family moved from Fayette County to Austin, where John, a member of the Texas Veterans Association, died on April 1, 1892. Anna died at age 84 on May 24, 1896. Together, John and Anna had 13 children: William, John, James, Jacob, Alfred, Lettie, Phebe, Emily, Mary, Annie, Nellie, Jesse, and Betty. After their deaths, Emily had her parents' remains moved to the Texas State Cemetery, where the State of Texas erected a monument over their grave.

30° 15.912
-097° 43.632

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

December 13, 2016

Edward Theodore "Fred" Link (1886-1939)

Born March 11, 1886, in Columbus, Ohio, Edward Theodore "Fred" Link was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for one season. He debuted on April 15, 1910, for the Cleveland Naps, playing in 22 games before he was traded to the St. Louis Browns, but only played three games before he was released. His last Major League appearance was on August 25, 1910. He quit baseball and worked 19 years as a clerk in the general offices of the Texas Company in Houston. Link died in Houston on May 22, 1939, of cancer.

29° 57.589
-095° 15.988

Section 12
Rosewood Park Cemetery

December 9, 2016

David Grieves (?-1837)

Outside of military records, there is no biographical information about David Grieves. He was born in Scotland, enlisted in Company I, Regiment of Regular Infantry, on February 20, 1836 and was a member of Captain Henry Teal's Company at San Jacinto. He rose through the ranks quickly; appointed Quartermaster Sergeant May 9, 1836, and when discharged on May 31, 1837, he was a 2nd Lieutenant. Grieves died shortly after, on June 15, 1837 while living in Houston and buried in the city cemetery.

Note: This is a cenotaph.  Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.446
-095° 22.769

Founders Memorial Park

December 6, 2016

Karla Faye Tucker (1959-1998)

Tucker was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the youngest of three sisters. The marriage of her parents was very troubled, and her parents divorced when she was 10. By age 12, she had begun taking drugs and having sex; at age 14 she dropped out of school and followed her mother into prostitution. When she was in her early 20s, she met a man named Jerry Dean who introduced her to a man named Daniel Garrett, whom she started dating. After spending the weekend using drugs, Tucker and Garrett entered Dean's apartment around 3 a.m. on June 13, 1983, intending to steal a motorcycle he was restoring. During the burglary, Dean awoke, and Garrett struck him numerous times with a hammer before leaving to carry more motorcycle parts out. Tucker picked up a three foot pickax and began striking Dean before Garrett returned and dealt him a final blow to the chest. When Garrett left the bedroom again, Tucker noticed a woman who had hidden under the bed covers. The woman, Deborah Ruth Thornton, had gone to a party with Dean and ended up spending the night. Tucker proceeded to hit her repeatedly with the pickaxe, then embedded it in her heart. Tucker would later testify that she experienced intense multiple orgasms with each blow. Five weeks after the killings, police investigation led to the arrests of the two. In September 1983, they were indicted for murder and tried separately. Tucker entered a plea of not guilty and was jailed awaiting trial. Shortly after being imprisoned, she became a Christian and later married her prison minister, Dana Brown. Though the death penalty was hardly ever sought for female defendants, Tucker was sentenced to death in 1984. Between 1984 and 1992, requests for a retrial and appeals were denied, but Tucker requested that her life be spared as she was under the influence of drugs during the murders. Her plea drew support from abroad and also from some leaders of American conservatism, but the board still rejected her appeal. On February 2, 1998, Tucker was flown from the holding prison in Gatesville to the Huntsville Unit. The next day she was executed via lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. She was the first woman executed in Texas in 135 years, and the second woman executed in the United States since 1976. Source

Note: Coordinates withheld.

Acacia Section 14
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery

December 2, 2016

Matthew Winston Cartwright (1815-1884)

Born January 22, 1815, in Washington County, Alabama, Matthew arrived in Texas December 22, 1832 after his father Peter bought some property there. He took part in some early engagements of the Texas revolution, notably at the Storming and Capture of Bexar, (December 5 - 10, 1835) as a member of Joseph L. Bennett's Company. He left the service on December 24 and returned to his father's farm in what is now Montgomery County. he and his brother William enlisted in the Texas army on April 12, 1836. Nine days later, as a member of William Ware's Company, both William and Matthew fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. The two left the army on the same day, June 13, 1836. Cartwright died December 4, 1884 and buried in the Cartwright family cemetery. The State of Texas erected a monument at his grave in 1936.

30° 20.630
-095° 38.127

Rabon Chapel Cemetery

November 29, 2016

Teala Loring (1922-2007)

Teala Loring, American actress, was born Marcia Eloise Griffin on October 6, 1922 in Denver, Colorado. She was the sister of actors Debra Paget, Lisa Gaye, and Reull Shayne. At the start of her film career, she was sometimes credited as Judith Gibson. From 1942, Loring appeared in uncredited or bit parts in films at Paramount, turning up as a cigarette girl in Holiday Inn and as a telephone operator in Double Indemnity, for example. In 1945-46, she appeared in ten films released by the low-key Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures, including Fall Guy (1947), the Charlie Chan vehicle Dark Alibi (1946), and two films starring Kay Francis, Allotment Wives (1945) and Wife Wanted (1946). Having failed to achieve the success that her sister Debra would capture in the 1950s, Loring made her final film, Arizona Cowboy in 1950. She died at the age of 84 on January 28, 2007 from injuries she sustained in an automobile accident in Spring, Texas.

29° 55.948
-095° 27.333

Section S1
Houston National Cemetery

November 25, 2016

George A. Lamb (1814-1836)

George A. Lamb, participant in the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Laurens District, South Carolina, on October 3, 1814. Orphaned as a child, he made his home with a family named Bankhead and accompanied one of the sons, Richard, to Texas in 1834. There they established a farm in the western part of what is now Walker County. When Bankhead died on January 17, 1835, Lamb remained to care for his family. Lamb married Bankhead's widow, Sarah, on June 27, 1835, and adopted his two young children. He joined Capt. William Ware's Company D of Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers, on March 12, 1836, and was elected second lieutenant. He was killed in action on April 21, 1836, at San Jacinto. Lamb County was named in his honor in 1876. His widow later married Jonathan A. McGary, who became the administrator of Lamb's estate. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. In 1881, a decision was made to place permanent memorials at the graves of those men who had been killed in the Battle of San Jacinto and buried on the battlefield. It was discovered, however, that all of the original wooden grave markers, except for Benjamin Brigham's, had rotted away and no one could remember exactly where the others rested. As a compromise, since the soldiers had been buried closely together, it was decided to place a cenotaph over Brigham's grave as a memorial to all of them.

29° 45.232
-095° 05.363

San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
La Porte

November 22, 2016

Edwin Alan "Bud" Shrake (1931-2009)

Bud Shrake was born September 6, 1931, in Fort Worth, Texas, and attended Paschal High School where he wrote for the school newspaper, the Paschal Pantherette. He served in the Army and attended the University of Texas and Texas Christian University. In 1951, he started on the police beat of the Fort Worth Press while he earned a degree in English and Philosophy at TCU. In 1958, he moved to the Dallas Times Herald as a sportswriter, followed by a move in 1961 to the Dallas Morning News in order to write a daily sports column. He wrote his first novel, Blood Reckoning (1962), about the Comanche’s final battle against the United States Army and followed up with But Not For Love, published in 1964, which looked at the post-war generation. In 1964, Shrake moved to New York City to join the staff of Sports Illustrated, where he was often allowed to write long feature stories, sometimes barely related to sports. He returned to Texas in 1968 and continued his association with Sports Illustrated until 1979, while also writing novels and screenplays. His 1968 book Blessed McGill, set during Reconstruction, is often cited as a classic of Texas fiction, as is his 1972 novel Strange Peaches. In 1969, Shrake wrote what is perhaps his best-known article, Land of the Permanent Wave, about a trip to the Big Thicket in East Texas. He intended the article for publication in Sports Illustrated, but it was rejected and instead published in the February 1970 issue of Harper's Magazine. He became involved with Hollywood in the early 70s as a screenwriter and occasional actor. Shrake's screenplays include Kid Blue (1973), Nightwing (1979), the Steve McQueen western Tom Horn (1980), and Songwriter (1984), which starred his friend Willie Nelson. He had a small part in the TV movie Lonesome Dove and wrote his last screenplay in 1991 for the TV movie Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind, a sequel to his 1990 movie Pair of Aces. Night Never Falls, the only one of his novels not set in Texas, was published in 1987, and became his favorite of his novels. He was twice married to and twice divorced from Joyce Shrake, with whom he had two sons; his marriage to Doatsy Shrake also ended in divorce. From then on he acted as Texas Governor Ann Richards' companion for 17 years, escorting her to her inaugural ball and other social events until her death in 2006. He suffered from both prostate cancer and lung cancer in his final years, and on May 8, 2009, died at St. David's Hospital in Austin, of complications from lung cancer. He is buried next to Ann Richards in the Texas State Cemetery.

30° 15.934
-097° 43.614

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

November 18, 2016

Job Starks Collard (1813-1867)

Born in Missouri, March 21, 1813, Job Collard came to Texas in August 1833. He enlisted in the revolutionary army on March 1, 1836 for a three month stint as a member of William Ware's Company. He fought at the Battle of San Jacinto, served out the rest of his contract, then re-enlisted and commanded a company until at least September 30, 1836. He was married twice; first to Elizabeth Robinson, with whom he had five children, then after her death, married Sarah James, who bore him four more children. They lived in Danville, Montgomery County until Collard's death on June 1, 1867. He was buried next to his first wife Elizabeth, and upon the death of his second wife Sarah on August 7, 1883, she was laid next to him as well.

30° 56.735
-095° 55.255

Madisonville City Cemetery

November 15, 2016

Carlton Shane Dronett (1971-2009)

Shane Dronett was an American football defensive lineman who played for the NFL's Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons between 1992 and 2002. He was born in Orange, Texas, and graduated from Bridge City High School in Bridge City, Texas in 1989. He attended the University of Texas at Austin on a football scholarship and in 1991 he was named an All-American. In the 1992 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Dronett in the second round. He remained with the Broncos for four seasons, playing all 16 games in his first year. Dronett played for both the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions in 1996, playing 12 games total. The Lions released Dronett at the end of the 1996 season, and he was rehired by the Falcons, who had just hired as their new head coach Dan Reeves, who had originally drafted Dronett to play for the Broncos. Dronett played a significant role in the Falcons' defense, which ranked second in the NFL against the run, allowing only 75.2 rushing yards per game, and produced 313 tackles, 29.5 sacks, and 13 forced fumbles. When the Falcons won the NFC Championship in 1998, Dronett played in Super Bowl XXXIII against the Denver Broncos. In January 2000, he signed a five-year contract worth $20 million. In September, he suffered a torn ACL when sacking the Carolina Panthers quarterback. He suffered several other injuries, including knee and shoulder problems, over the next two seasons that limited his ability to play. He was released by the Falcons in 2003. In 2006, Dronett began to exhibit paranoia, confusion, fear, and rage. According to his family, his behavior changed radically. He was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 2007. Its removal did not alleviate Dronett's symptoms. He confronted his wife with a gun on January 21, 2009. As she ran for safety, he turned the gun on himself. His death was ruled a suicide by the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's office. After his death, his brain was tested at Boston University School of Medicine's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. Scientists determined that Dronett suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease associated with repeated head trauma. He left a wife, Chris, and two daughters, Berkley and Hayley.

30° 04.135
-093° 45.661

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
West Orange

November 11, 2016

Robert W. Montgomery (?-1837)

Little is known of Montgomery's private history prior to Texas; it is known that he was divorced and had a daughter, Emma Jane, living in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Texas army on February 23, 1836, as "McGready Montgomery" and was a member of Captain Henry Teal's Company at the Battle of San Jacinto. Montgomery left the army on October 10, 1836, and died in Harrisburg (now Harris) County in June 1837.

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.441
-095° 22.767

Founders Memorial Park

November 8, 2016

Helen Vinson (1907-1999)

Helen Vinson was born Helen Rulfs in Beaumont on September 17, 1907, the daughter of an oil company executive. The family eventually settled in Houston, where her passion for acting was ignited. While in her teens, she married Harry N. Vickerman, a man fifteen years her senior, who came from a well-to-do Philadelphia family. Although she was not accepted into the drama department of the University of Texas, she persevered by earning parts in local theater productions. She eventually made her Broadway debut in a walk-on role in a production entitled Los Angeles (1927). The stock market crash of 1929 ruined her husband's business and the stress and anguish precipitated divorce proceedings after only five years. Helen gained further notice on Broadway in Berlin starring Sydney Greenstreet and The Fatal Alibi (1932) with Charles Laughton. During this time she was also noticed by Warner Brothers talent scouts who ushered the svelte blonde straight to Hollywood. She played both lead and support roles in pre-Code films, making a strong impression trading insults as the aloof "other woman". Often unsympathetic, self-involved and frequently backstabbing, she was not above using her feminine wiles to get her way. She played Kay Francis' epicurean friend in the mild comedy Jewel Robbery (1932), and stood between Loretta Young and David Manners happiness as his wealthy fiancée in the soap-styled drama They Call It Sin (1932).

In the classic I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), she had a role as the stylish woman Paul Muni leaves Glenda Farrell for. More film work came Helen's way alongside some of Hollywood's most popular and virile leading men. She played Warner Baxter's castoff wife in Frank Capra's Broadway Bill (1934) and Gary Cooper's problematic mate in The Wedding Night (1935). She appeared with Charles Boyer in Private Worlds (1935); Humphrey Bogart in Two Against the World (1936); James Cagney in Torrid Zone (1940) and even lightened it up a little bit in the Bob Hope/Paulette Goddard comedy Nothing But the Truth (1941). One of Helen's best known film roles, however, came with the plush drama In Name Only (1939) starring Cary Grant and Carole Lombard. When Helen married British Wimbledon tennis champion Fred Perry in 1935, she moved to England. While there she made the films Trans-Atlantic Tunnel (1935), King of the Damned (1935) and Love in Exile (1936), which resulted in little fanfare. They relocated to Los Angeles a couple of years later so she could find more work, and Perry also hoped he could parlay his sports fame into a movie career. Their highly publicized marriage was short-lived, lasting only five years after Perry failed to click onscreen. After marrying her third husband, stockbroker Donald Hardenbrook, in 1945, Helen gave up her career completely according to the wishes of her husband. The couple remained together until his death in 1976. She had no children from her three marriages. For the remainder of her life, she split home life in both Chapel Hill, North Carolina and on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Helen passed away in Chapel Hill in 1999 of natural causes at the age of 92 and was buried in the Rulfs family plot in Nacogdoches, Texas.

31° 36.197
-094°° 38.885

Oak Grove Cemetery

November 4, 2016

Thomas Young Buford (1814-1839)

Little is known of Thomas Buford's life prior to the Texas Revolution. His military record states that was born in South Carolina on August 5, 1814 and came to Texas in April, 1835, living near Nacogdoches. He enlisted in the Texas army on March 27, 1836 for six months and, as a member of Captain William H. Smith's Company J, Cavalry, fought at San Jacinto. He was afterward promoted to first lieutenant and put on detached duty as an army recruit until his discharge in September. Buford died on his farm near Nacogdoches on August 23, 1839, survived by his widow Mary and two infant daughters, and was buried in Oak Grove in Nacogdoches.

31° 36.188
-094° 38.944

Oak Grove Cemetery

November 1, 2016

Bailey Hardeman (1795-1836)

Bailey Hardeman, War of 1812 soldier, Santa Fe trader, mountain man, a founder and officer of the Republic of Texas, thirteenth or fourteenth child of Thomas and Mary (Perkins) Hardeman, was born at the Thomas Hardeman station or stockade, near Nashville, on February 26, 1795. His father was a prominent frontiersman who served in the North Carolina convention that considered ratifying the United States Constitution at Hillsboro, North Carolina, and in the Tennessee state constitutional convention of 1796. Bailey spent his early years in Davidson and Williamson counties, Tennessee. He was a store proprietor, deputy sheriff of Williamson County, and lawyer in Tennessee. At eighteen he served as an artillery officer in the War of 1812 under his father's friend Andrew Jackson in Louisiana. On June 19, 1820, he married Rebecca Wilson, also of Williamson County. The next year he joined his father and his brother John on the Missouri frontier west of Old Franklin. There he met William Becknell and became involved in the early Santa Fe trade. Hardeman was in the Meredith Miles Marmaduke expedition to New Mexico in 1824-25. He and Becknell trapped beaver along the Colorado River north and west of Santa Cruz and Taos and narrowly escaped starvation during the winter of 1824-25. On his return trip to Missouri, he lost two horses and a mule to Osage Indian attackers, but his overall trading profits must have been considerable. He was able to finance the Santa Fe trading trip of William Scott in the summer of 1825.

Several years later he endowed Hardeman Academy at Hardeman's Cross Roads (later Triune), donated lands to Wilson's Creek Baptist Church, and opened a tavern and store, all in Williamson County, Tennessee. A few years after his return to Tennessee he moved from Williamson to Hardeman County. In the fall of 1835 he and his brothers Thomas Jones and Blackstone Hardeman and his sister Julia Ann Bacon, together with their families, numbering about twenty-five people in all, moved to Texas. Bailey and several other members of the family quickly joined the independence movement. Bailey's first involvement was to help secure an eighteen-pound cannon at Dimmitt's Landing near the mouth of the Lavaca River and haul it to San Antonio, an action that encouraged Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos to surrender his forces, on December 10, 1835. On November 28, while Hardeman was on the artillery assignment, the General Council of the provisional government appointed him to serve on a commission to organize the militia of Matagorda Municipality. After this, Hardeman's activities shifted from the military to the political arena. He was elected a representative from Matagorda to the convention at work on the Texas Declaration of Independence. He arrived at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1, 1836, and was selected to serve on the five-member drafting committee of the declaration.

After the convention approved the document, Bailey, along with two other members of the committee, was appointed to a twenty-one-member committee to draw up a constitution for the Republic of Texas. The resulting Constitution was approved in mid-March. Hardeman performed several other services for the convention, including membership on the militia and tariff-payment committees. Although he requested to be excused in order to rejoin the military forces, he was persuaded to assume other political duties. The delegates elected him secretary of the treasury. Concurrently with this position, he held the office of secretary of state when Samuel P. Carson left for the United States on April 2-3, 1836. After the fall of the Alamo, Hardeman fled eastward with other cabinet members as the ad interim government moved from Washington to Harrisburg, and from Harrisburg to Galveston Island, in advance of approaching Mexican troops. The group reached Galveston in safety around the time of the battle of San Jacinto; after the Texas victory, Hardeman left the island to deliver supplies to the soldiers of the republic. As acting secretary of state he negotiated and signed two treaties, an open document honorably ending the war and providing for removal of Mexican soldiers from Texas, and a secret agreement in which Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna promised diplomatic recognition of the new republic. Hardeman was then appointed to go to Mexico City in order to help secure ratification of the open treaty. His service to the republic was cut short by his death from congestive fever, probably on September 25, 1836, at his Matagorda County home on Caney Creek. He was buried there, but in 1936 his remains were moved to the State Cemetery in Austin. Bailey was survived by his wife and four children. A daughter had died at the age of eight in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Hardeman County, Texas, was named for Bailey and Thomas Jones Hardeman. Source 

30° 15.918
-097° 43.637

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

October 28, 2016

William C. Swearingen (?-1839)

William C. Swearingen, soldier of the Republic of Texas, enlisted at Velasco on February 13, 1836, "for two years or the duration of the war." He joined Sam Houston's army on the Colorado River, and at the battle of San Jacinto he fought in Capt. Amasa Turner's Company B of Lt. Col. Henry W. Millard's Regular Infantry battalion. From the battlefield on April 23 Swearingen wrote a lengthy and detailed account of the campaign and battle to his brother Lemuel in Scottsville, Kentucky. The letter ends with the poignant request that his brother "kiss William for me and tell him pappy will be there in the fall and stay with him always." With the reorganization of the army after San Jacinto, Swearingen was transferred to Company A of the First Regiment, Regular Infantry, under Capt. John Smith, formerly Millard's first sergeant. He was posted to Galveston Island but served a part of his enlistment period on detached duty aboard the schooner Apollo out of Cedar Bayou. He received a promotion to sergeant on March 17 and resigned from the army on November 4, 1836, but reappeared on the muster roll of February 28, 1837. He died in Houston on December 24, 1839. Swearingen was most likely a kinsman of Elemeleck Swearingen, who also fought in Turner's company at San Jacinto, and of Elemeleck's brother V. W. Swearingen, who served in Capt. John York's company at the siege of Bexar and with Capt. Moseley Baker's company at San Jacinto. He subsequently took part in the Mier expedition and was incarcerated at Perote prison. Elemeleck and V. W. Swearingen moved from Kentucky to Milheim, Austin County, Texas, in 1830. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.436
-095° 22.769

Founders Memorial Park

October 25, 2016

Henry Lee Lucas (1936-2001)

Henry Lee Lucas was born on August 23, 1936, in Blacksburg, Virginia. One of nine siblings, Lucas was raised by abusive alcoholic parents. His mother ruled the household with an iron fist and prostituted herself in their backwoods community to make money. As a teenager, Lucas's sexual deviance became increasingly pronounced, and he reported having sex with his half-brother and with dead animals. Lucas spent his teen years in and out of jail. In March 1960, he was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for murdering his mother. He was sent to Jackson State Penitentiary in southern Michigan, but after two attempted suicides, he was admitted to Ionia State Mental Hospital. He was paroled in 1970 after serving 10 years. A year after his release, Lucas was sentenced to five years for attempting to kidnap a fifteen-year-old girl at gunpoint. After his second release in 1975, he traveled to Michigan where he teamed-up with a petty thief named Ottis Toole. They shared an unhealthy interest in rape and death. In October 1979, Lucas traveled the country accompanied by Ottis and his young niece, Becky Powell, who was mildly retarded. According to Lucas, he and Powell became romantically involved, filling one another's lifelong need for love and respect. Despite this romance, however, he eventually killed Powell, along with Katharine Rich, an elderly woman with whom they had been staying. In June 1983, Lucas was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon. In his cell, he began confessing to hundreds of murders. Egged on by investigators from around the country, Lucas's confessions became increasingly farfetched. It is unclear how many murders he actually did commit, but some believe it was just three: his mother, Becky Powell and Katharine Rich. He was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by Texas Governor George W. Bush. He died in a Huntsville, Texas prison from natural causes on March 12, 2001. Source

30° 42.732
-095° 32.158

Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery

October 21, 2016

Elias E. Hamilton (1816?-1840)

Elias E. Hamilton was born in Clarksville, Georgia, in about 1816 to William and Nancy (Hallums) Hamilton. He left Clarksville, Georgia in the fall of 1835 with his family. Shortly after having arrived in Texas, he enlisted in the company recruited in Nacogdoches by Captain Thomas J. Rusk and left with that organization for Bexar, then under siege (October 12 - December 11, 1835). He was later transferred to Captain Hayden Arnold's "Nacogdoches Company" and fought at San Jacinto. Hamilton was killed by his horse falling on him in Douglass, Nacogdoches County, September 30, 1840. He was originally buried beside his father and sister in the "old Mexican cemetery", but has since been relocated to Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches.

31° 36.190
-094° 38.959

Oak Grove Cemetery

October 18, 2016

Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862)

Albert Sidney Johnston, Confederate general, son of John and Abigail (Harris) Johnston, was born at Washington, Kentucky, on February 2, 1803. He attended Transylvania University before he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated in June 1826. He served at Sackett's Harbor, New York, in 1826, with the Sixth Infantry at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, in 1827, and as regimental adjutant in the Black Hawk War. On January 20, 1829, he married Henrietta Preston. Because of his wife's illness, he resigned his commission on April 22, 1834, and farmed near St. Louis in 1835. She died on August 12, 1835. In 1836 Johnston moved to Texas and enlisted as a private in the Texas Army. On August 5, 1836, he was appointed adjutant general by Thomas Jefferson Rusk and on January 31, 1837, he became senior brigadier general in command of the army to replace Felix Huston. A duel with Huston resulted; Johnston was wounded and could not immediately take the command. On December 22, 1838, he was appointed secretary of war for the Republic of Texas by President Mirabeau B. Lamar, and in December 1839 he led an expedition against the Cherokee Indians in East Texas. On March 1, 1840, Johnston returned to Kentucky, where, on October 3, 1843, he married Eliza Griffin, a cousin of his first wife. They returned to Texas to settle at China Grove Plantation in Brazoria County.

During the Mexican War he was colonel of the First Texas Rifle Volunteers and served with W. O. Butler as inspector general at Monterrey, Mexico. On December 2, 1849, Johnston became paymaster in the United States Army and was assigned to the Texas frontier. He went with William S. Harney to the Great Plains in 1855, and on April 2, 1856, he was appointed colonel of the Second Cavalry. In 1858 Johnston received command of a Utah expedition to escort a new territorial governor and three judges to Salt Lake City and to establish a military presence, due to Morman resistance of federal authority. He set up Camp Scott near the ruins of Fort Bridger in the fall of 1858, and later selected a site southwest of Salt Lake City for a permanent camp - Camp Floyd which was dedicated in November of 1859. Johnston remained in charge of Camp Floyd until 1860 when he was sent to the Pacific Department and stationed at San Francisco. At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, he resigned his commission in the United States Army, refused the federal government's offer of a command, and returned overland to Texas. In Austin 1861 Jefferson Davis appointed Johnston a general in the Confederate Army and in September assigned him command of the Western Department. Johnston issued a call for men and formed and drilled an army, but it lacked men and organization, had a huge area to defend, and could not control the rivers that were vital to military success in the region. In February 1862, following Federal victories on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, he moved his line of defense to the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee, and later to Corinth, Mississippi. On April 6, 1862, he was killed while leading his forces at the battle of Shiloh. He was temporarily buried at New Orleans. By special appropriation, the Texas Legislature, in January 1867, had his remains transferred to Austin for burial in the State Cemetery. In 1905 a stone monument executed by noted sculptor Elisabet Ney was erected at the site. Source

30° 15.913
-097° 43.597

Confederate Field
Texas State Cemetery

October 14, 2016

William Jarvis Cannan (1808-1881)

William Jarvis Cannan, soldier at the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1808 and moved to Texas in 1835. He was in the Texas army from March 1 to November 1, 1836, and took part at San Jacinto as a private in Company H, First Regiment of Texas Volunteers, under Robert Stevenson. For his service Cannan was granted a bounty warrant for 640 acres in Brazoria County. In 1837 he married Matilda Jane Lonis. They had four sons and a daughter. After his wife's death at Brazoria in 1850, Cannan married Parmelia A. Wilcox; they became the parents of three sons and a daughter. Throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction era, the Cannan family figured prominently in the Texas cotton trade. Cannan died in September 1881 and was buried in the Oyster Creek Cemetery four miles from Velasco. Source

29° 00.477
-095° 18.986

Hudgins Cemetery
Oyster Creek

October 11, 2016

Reuben White (1795-1847?)

Reuben White, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was the son of William and Amy White and was born in 1795 in what is now Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. In the War of 1812 he served in Capt. Shadrack Porter's Company, Baker's Regiment, Louisiana Militia. He married Christina Faulk on June 15, 1818. They had at least eight children. The family was Catholic. He moved to Texas in 1824 with his widowed mother and received his grant of one league on the east bank of the San Jacinto River. He was listed with his family in the Atascosito Census in 1826 as a farmer and stock raiser. Reuben and his brother Henry White were on the grand jury of Harris County in 1837. In 1838 he appeared before the Board of Land Commissioners of Harris County to petition for one labor of land due him as a colonist. He appeared on the Ad Valorem Tax Rolls of the Republic of Texas in 1837 and in subsequent years. His taxable property (after considerable exemptions) was 2,214 acres of land, two pleasure horses, 150 cattle, and one clock. He was a successful farmer-rancher of the period. Reuben White died before October 1848, as proven by a probate court record of his estate in Harris County in 1848. After White died, his widow married Hervey Whiting. In 1854 she married Isaac Curtis, and in the 1860 census she and her two youngest sons were living with a son-in-law, Thomas W. McComb, at Lynchburg. Source

Note: Unmarked. The modern-day White Cemetery evolved from the original White family cemetery, now located to the rear left of the grounds. Although Reuben White's grave location has been lost, he is likely buried in the area shown in the photo below, as this site contains the oldest graves and the still-standing tombstone of his youngest brother William.


1824 Lawn Crypts A-B Section
White Cemetery